Western Union take control of Romanian remittances

Millions of cardholders in Romania will have the opportunity to withdraw remittances from ATM’s, due to a new partnership agreement between Western Union and MasterCard.

A tripartite agreement between the two payment giants and Banca Transilvania (BT), will enable 900 BT controlled ATM’s to dispense remittances to Romania, one of the largest remittance receivers in Eastern Europe. Maestro cardholders will also be able to take advantage of the new service.

‘‘This is a ground-breaking deal which brings together the unique capability of Western Union’s global cross-border capability spanning 200 countries and territories, MasterCard’s world-leading payment capabilities and the domestic network of Romania’s third largest bank,’’ said Odilon Almeida, President of the Americas and European Union, Western Union.

The International Organization of Migration (IOM) states that 16.5 per cent of Romanians live outside the country, migrating mainly to Italy, Germany and Spain. These three nations account for 50 per cent of all cross-border money transfers into Romania, highlighting the need for a streamlined remittance transferring system.

‘‘Now MasterCard and Maestro cardholders in Romania will be able to withdraw these funds quickly in cash or load the funds directly onto their cards. We are putting customers in the driver’s seat to access their international remittances with the convenience,’’ added Almedia.

The majority of remittances transferred into Romania’s bank accounts will have been through a mobile device. Payment Eye recently reported that the percentage of global money transfers sent from mobile phones more than doubled in the 12 months to January 2015.

‘‘Together with Western Union, we are creating a simple yet innovative solution that is designed to enable MasterCard and Maestro holders to receive payments from anywhere in the world safely and securely,” said Ann Cairns, President International Markets, MasterCard.

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